Earlier this year, we shared with you the importance of completing the 2020 Census and how it is essential to our democracy. It will not only determine how many representatives Texas will have in Congress, it will also be used by the federal government to allocate funds to the state for a range of essential federal programs valued at more than $59 billion a year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline to submit responses to the U.S. Census Bureau had been extended by three months, to October 31, 2020. However, on August 3, the U.S. Census Bureau retreated from that much needed extension, moving the deadline to complete the census to September 20, a month sooner than previously announced.
With just over 64 percent nationwide and 59 percent of Texans having self-responded (as of August 25), the Bureau now has less than two months left to try to reach people of color, immigrants, renters, rural residents and other members of historically undercounted groups who are not likely to fill out a census form on their own.
Texas faces significant obstacles in this year’s census due to high concentrations of hard-to-count individuals in our urban cities, inconsistent support structures in our border and rural areas, a high number of young children, and large immigrant populations that will require greater direct support and targeted outreach. Further, new approaches to completing the census, heightened sensitivity around immigration status, and concerns around data privacy make a complete count even more difficult to achieve.
Ensuring a complete 2020 Census count is critical and can shape so many different aspects of a community – health clinics, fire departments, and schools, just to name a few. So what can you, our Army of Advocates, do? If you haven’t already done so, make sure you complete the 2020 Census for your household. Ask two of your friends if they have completed the 2020 Census. If they have not, send them here….. 2020Census
Please share this information with others and encourage them to respond to the 2020 Census! Thank you for being part of the Texas Women’s Foundation Army of Advocates!